I’ve anticipated this film since its announcement. Artemis Fowl was a book that excited me since I saw a promotional video at a book fair, and eventually I got to read it from a library. I loved the books and thought it would make a great movie adaptation. When I saw the recent trailers, I was confused by the shift in tone they were going for. While many seem to not like this film, I do think it will do better with certain age ranges. The film certainly doesn’t seem to capture the tone of the books but is an imaginative story.
The film starts out with the press on the lawn of the Fowls. We receive narration from Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad). We see that Mulch has been taken into an interrogation room of some sort. We then start to learn about Artemis Fowl (Ferdia Shaw) and his rather dismissive nature of everyone except his father. Artemis Fowl Sr. (Colin Farrell) reveals he must go off on a business trip again. Soon after Artemis receives a call that his father has been abducted and that he must deliver an item called the Aculos to trade for his father’s safety.
We’re introduced to officer Officer Holly Short (Lara McDonnell). She has been trying to solve the mystery of the disappearance of her father for years. She is part of a police force for magical creatures known as LEP (Lower Elements Police). Holly goes to a tree to investigate only to have Artemis and Domovoi Butler (Nonso Anozie) ambush her. Holly wakes up in a cage. Artemis has a plan to find the Aculos that he can’t accomplish without Holly”s help. LEP launches a full-scale recon mission to retrieve Holly. The standoff escalates as Artemis attempts to meet the kidnapper’s deadline.
I did enjoy this film, but the changes that were made from the books are hard to handle. Since seeing the film I’ve seen old trailers that suggest they were going in a different direction at some point. They seemed to have decided between a PG-13 film and this PG rating. The characters likewise do things differently creating a different feel to the plot. If you know little to nothing about the books, I think you could enjoy this movie for the fantasy adventure it is.
Frozen was a bit of a shock when it came out in 2014. It was the second film from a new group within Disney Studios following Wreck-It Ralph. Pixar was better associated with the hits coming from the Disney company at the time, but with Frozen they really solidified themselves. I’ve personally enjoyed this studio more than Pixar in the years since. So, while I wasn’t highly motivated to see Frozen II, I wanted to see what the studio had planned this time.
We start once again with the childhood of Elsa (Eva Bella) and Anna (Livvy Stubenrauch) as their parents tell them about an enchanted forest their father King Agnarr (Alfred Molina) had visited when he was a child. Agnarr had gone there with his father King Runeard (Jeremy Sisto) and inexplicably a battle broke out causing Runeard to be lost and Agnarr was injured only to be saved by a native. Agnarr made it out, but the four elements were mad and sealed the forest off with a wall of fog not letting anyone in or out since. We then are taken to the present where adult Anna (Kristen Bell) is talking to Olaf (Josh Gad) about things that will and will not change. Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Sven the reindeer arrive into town and Kristoff reveals he intends to propose to Anna.
The main characters come together with adult Elsa (Idina Menzel) for charades. As Elsa gets her clue, she hears a voice singing to her. She stops as she listens to it. Later she goes on to chase the sound of this voice trying to make sense of this. She casts her ice magic as she approaches the water when suddenly she seems to form crystals in the air all around Arendelle. Abruptly; the fires in the town go out, a huge wind starts blowing people out, and the ground shifts causing everyone to evacuate. The trolls find Elsa, and Pabbie (Ciarán Hinds) warns that Elsa must go to the enchanted forest and solve the unrest of the elementals.
Frozen II helps to expand a world many have been waiting for. There are plenty of musical numbers, with the main cast each getting a new song. Seeing the last film would certainly help to understand the characters, though they do briefly recap the last movie in a comedic fashion. Overall, it’s a good family adventure and musical. I was surprised by one of the songs that I really thought had a strong message to it. I do think this was a good edition of what will likely continue to be a series. Rated PG.